Let me tell you something: I LOVE Snapchat. It’s the perfect cross between Facebook, Instagram, and live streaming. Your content doesn’t have to be startlingly beautiful like Instagram, sentences don’t have to be perfect like Facebook posts, and you only have to fill 10 seconds at a time (or less) with your photo or video. Now that you’re on Snapchat (I hope), what’s the next step? So glad you asked!
The biggest issue that we hear from Snapchat users is trouble getting discovered or finding followers/friends. People who follow you on Snapchat have to do so manually and intentionally— they add you by your specific user name.
Start by cross promoting your Snapchat profile and username on your other social media platforms (within reason). Promise something special through Snapchat. Instead of just asking people to follow you, give them a pay-off for doing so. Such as… A coupon, a give-away, a contest. Don’t be stingy. Give up a little for the greater good of building a presence on this platform. If you speak at a conference or throw an event or meet new people, mention that you’re on Snapchat and share a little bit about what you’re doing through your presence there.
Snapchat doesn’t have a savvy search like Facebook or a fun explore tab like Instagram; it’s all direct. And that’s part of what makes Snapchat so special—you know that any followers you get are actually sincerely interested in what you have to say. Now you just have to figure out what to say.
Identify the purpose of your Snapchat profile. It is a daily source of information for your followers? Is it the place where you give behind-the-scenes looks at your organization? Or maybe it’s where you promote new products. Either way, decide what your tone and purpose will be and then create original content to support it.
If you need some inspiration, many of the current brands on Snapchat have developed a distinct style for their Snap Stores—techniques of which you can learn from:
- For Birchbox, a different team member takes over the account every day and shares her beauty routines, gives glimpses of life at the office, and answers Q&As. Occasionally, Birchbox’s Snap Story will also feature corporate news or reminders for events like Facebook Live discussions.
- Through their Snap Story, staff from The New Yorker discuss the cover of each issue in depth and have a frequent special segment called “Cartoons with Colin” where Colin shares new cartoons while eating a random kind of chocolate.
- Gary Vaynerchuck shares his daily work, inspirations and thoughts through his Snap Story to give his fans an even deeper look at his life. His Snap Story is a great example for brands that center on an individual.
- Jimmy Fallon’s team uses his Snap Story to alert viewers of what’s planned in upcoming shows. They also give away tickets for the show through their Snap Story. During the day, their team sends an intern out into the city several hours before a show, only sharing her locations via Snapchat. The first person to find the intern wins the tickets!
- Warby Parker also does a great job of showcasing different members of their team via their Snap Story by interviewing a different person once a week in their “secret” library. During the interviews, the team member always talks about his/her favorite frames—an authentic way to advertise products. They also share simple snack time recipes to add some fun into the media mix.
Create a Branded Filter
Branded filters are just another great interactive feature to use to add extra branding to your Snapchat. Now, anyone can create a branded filter.
Anyone can do it, ANYONE. So that means you, yes you, you little marketing genius hiding in the background. Create one for your office and use it throughout your stories. Then when people visit you or attend an event near your office, they know to use that filter in their Snapchats—giving you exposure to their whole audience! You should also create special filters for any event or gathering you open to the public.
Maintain a Steady Presence
Lastly, a lot of great brands boast profiles on Snapchat. But I cannot tell you how many brands I have followed, excited for what type of content they might be sharing, only to wait several days (sometimes weeks) before a story popped up. Because Snapchat has such a quick turn over, you have to maintain a steady presence on it in order to stay relevant. Just as you wouldn’t ignore your Instagram or Facebook for a week (I hope), so you shouldn’t neglect your Snapchat profile. So try Snapchat! You might be pleasantly surprised at the results you get.